Athlete of the Month: John Luke Iglesias


Junior John Luke Iglesias goes head to head with a Churchill opponent in a match on January 27th. Photo by Annabelle Gordon.

By Amy Nankin

Standing at 6’2’’ and weighing in at 220 pounds, junior John Luke Iglesias has led the varsity wrestling team (5-9) in pins and wins this winter season.

“Being a wrestler as a big guy means that he is offensive in his attacks and he likes to score from his feet in a variety of different ways,” coach Derek Manon said. “He isn’t a guy who’s going to sit back and just wait to fall on someone, he isn’t defensive. He attacks and looks for points in every situation and every position on the mat.”

Iglesias finished the regular season with a 27-3 record, qualifying him for regionals where he finished in first place. Thanks to success at regionals, Iglesias qualified to states where he finished in the top eight. During the meet, Iglesias won his first match, but lost in OT in the quarterfinals to the eventual state finalist.

“He’s bigger in size and strength than a lot of his competition and he just knows what he’s doing,” teammate Youssef Zaki said. “He doesn’t need that much coaching. He knows what he has to do and does it.”

Iglesias’ accomplishments this year were a big improvement from his standings at the end of last year’s season when he sat at 28-13, placed eighth at counties and qualified for regionals, but didn’t qualify for states.

I would have to attribute my success in part to my conditioning, but most of all to my teammates.

— junior John Luke Iglesias

The biggest way [Iglesias] has improved over the past year is through his confidence,” Manon said. “After he won his first tournament in January, that was a big turning point for him. He started to gain even more confidence and started to believe that he could win the tough matches against bigger names and ranked wrestlers.”

Through Iglesias’ success this season and dedication to the sport, he has emerged as a leader on the team and shares a tight bond with his teammates. He is a hard worker and puts in a lot of effort during practice, Manon said.

I would have to attribute my success in part to my conditioning, but most of all to my teammates,” Iglesias said. “If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know how I would’ve made it through those four months of the season.”

Looking forward, Iglesias plans to continue to train hard and put on more weight in the off-season.

“I expect that he will work on the mat by going to camps, clubs and off-season tournaments seeking out tough competition so that he can accomplish his goals next year,”  Manon said. “If he does that, then he will be a force to be reckoned with next year.”